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WordPress experts, how do you select them
When you're browsing a for "WordPress Expert" you will directly see that this is a challenging task. What is an expert and what makes someone an expert. In this blog we will discuss how search and find the right WordPress experts.
When we started with WordPress at Sunbytes we did what many others who are new also do. We listen to the people who knew more about WordPress then us. This is a smart strategy but, what we have learned over the last few years, this should never be our only criteria. A WordPress expert is not just someone who build WordPress sites.
What is a WordPress expert?
If we are taking a closer look on what we mean by a WordPress expert we will see that we actually have different wishes:
- A company or (php)developer who writes clean code
- They must be up-to-date on the latest WordPress developments
- A company or developer with a trackrecord that can be checked
- Clear communication and expectation management
- Clear pricing, responsibility and warranty are part of the normal way of working
These five items seem to state the obvious, but nevertheless these are very true and often we forget the basics. A lot of times we are preoccupied with the lowest price. We stop checking references and create a total overview of the competences vs. pricing.
In our experience at Sunbytes we see that a lot of experts who are great in building beautiful applications have less experience in expectation management and communication. On the other side we have worked with developers who are great in communication but less neat coding (below company standard). We saw that we were discarding experts if they were missing one or two competences. This was a costly and bad for our recruitment and reputation.
We have managed to be an added value to the missing or underdeveloped competences and see that a lot of great developers can be experts given the right ecosystem around them. Next to in-house training we have created a system where developers are helped by experts to become great WordPress experts within a short time frame. Recruitment based on potential was one of the key changes to make this for Sunbytes. The other key change was the use of western projectmanagers.
So back to the question: WordPress expert, how do you select them?
Sunbytes WordPress expert
We in Sunbytes talk about a WordPress expert when:
- the businesscase of the client is understood
- able to advise on and optimize the businesscase
- when the developer is able to use the full set of options that lies within WordPress
- the ability to work work without plugins but also use them if it is required
- If other competences are missing or less strong we balance this in the development team
How to select a WordPress expert?
To select an expert it is important to know how you or your organization works. Like with colleagues or employees you can never judge a cooperation only based on the other party. What are the strengths and weaknesses of you or your company and what kind of service is needed. For example, an IT company who needs an addition to their development resources have a different need than a graphic design company who does not have technical skills in-house.
The steps below are the basic steps that we would advice everyone to take when selecting a WordPress expert:
- Create a clear overview of what is needed technical and non-technical (including budget)
- Create a wishlist on how you would like to be serviced
- Search online but also via your network and create a shortlist based on your first impression
- Contact your shortlist (not more than 5) and let them explain their process without revealing your wishes and needs. This way you get their normal way of working
- See who will match the best with your needs and contact for deeper discussion. If none of your shortlist is doing well then make a new shortlist
- Ask someone in your network with experience to help if this is a new domain for you or your organisation
- Start a long term cooperation (only long term relations create a great ROI)
It seems like a lot of steps (and this is even the short version) but since you are talking about a supplier to possibly your core product it would be wise to take your time and be convinced.